- Posted by Jake Chapman
- On March 1, 2015
- 0 Comments
- Gas Tax
There had been much discussion leading up to this week’s vote to increase the tax paid on fuel. I want to thank all of you who contacted me regarding this important issue; those opposed and those in favor.
I have always been and will continue to be a proponent for adequate funding for infrastructure to ensure that our agriculture industry continues to be competitive in the global market.
I could not in good conscience vote in favor of this tax increase for several reasons. First and foremost, I have been very vocal in my opposition of the growth of government. We have increased the budget by over $1 billion over the last 4 years and have grown government by 7% annually for the last two years, while house hold incomes are growing at around 3.5%. We need to start controlling our spending rather than increasing taxes. Secondly, I was disappointed that this legislation did nothing to address the issues in how these funds are disbursed. There was vast consensus that the problems in infrastructure are in our rural communities on secondary roads and bridges. The bill however continues to direct a majority of the tax and fees collected to primary roads rather than to where the significant problems remain – rural secondary roads. Third, this tax is a tax of diminishing returns. We know based on a non-partisan fiscal department that estimates show we will continue to see a decrease in what we collect (vehicles are becoming more fuel efficient). This results in only a short term fix and will likely be in the same place we are right now in 10 years or less.
While there are a number of other reasons I voted “no” on this legislation, I want to reiterate that I will continue to push for long term solutions without increases in taxes. Additionally, I am working diligently to find ways to reign in government growth and spending. I firmly believe that the more money we allow hard working Iowans to keep, the better off we will be in our communities and in this state!